The governor of Ohio reissued and toughened the Buckeye State’s mandatory face-mask order Wednesday, as COVID-19 cases there continue to climb.
The mask order was first issued over the summer, but now has three new provisions, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine announced.
Under those provisions, each business will be required to post a face-covering requirement sign at all public entrances to the store, each store will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks and a new “retail compliance unit” will conduct inspections to ensure people are following the rules.
“The first violation of this order will bring about a written warning and a second violation will bring about closure of the store for up to 24 hours,” DeWine warned in a tweet.
In a series of tweets, DeWine added, “We must do this to protect our frontline workers.”
“Most retail businesses have done a good job providing a safe place for their employees to work and for their customers to shop. However, it is clear there are some businesses where mask-wearing is lacking,” he said.
“We know that masks work. It is the easiest, most cost-effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19. Every retail employee has the right to work in an environment that is as safe as can be, which means all customers must wear masks,” the governor continued.
In recent weeks, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Ohio have been increasing.
The state saw a record 6,508 new cases on Tuesday.
The virus has so far sickened more than 267,350 people in Ohio and led to more than 5,600 deaths, according to data from the state’s Department of Health.
More than 21,200 people in the state have been hospitalized as a result of the bug.